By Tamas Mondovics

Residents at Davpam Mobile Home Park in Brandon received a special visit from Hillsborough County Fire Rescue personnel earlier this month as part of an ongoing effort to help keep homeowners safe and fire-incident free.

With more than 3,000 people killed in home fires every year in the United States, many of them occurring in homes without working smoke alarms, the visit was welcomed by park residents at 102 Magnolia Ln., near the  intersection of Williams Rd. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

According HCFR spokesman, Ronnie Rivera, firefighters installed more than 150 free smoke alarms at no cost and reached over 400 mobile homes over the weekend.

“The community was among the first for the department to visit to provide free installation of smoke alarms to any resident in the park who do not have a functioning alarm,” Rivera said, adding that the focus on the neighborhood was prompted by the high number of fire calls received from its residents.

“Each Fire Rescue battalion identified high-risk neighborhoods in its district, and this installation event at DAVPAM is the first of several that will be held around the county,” he said.

Jessica Damico, also with HCFR communications, explained that the program to install the smoke alarms is part of Fire Rescue’s fire prevention and education efforts.

“Fire Rescue worked with Home Depot and Kidde, a fire safety product manufacturer, to donate 2,500 smoke alarms for the program, 500 of which were expected to be distributed over the weekend,” Damico said.

The effort was accomplished in harmony with daylight-saving time that went into effect on March 10, a time when residents are to change not only their clocks, but also the batteries in both their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.

As of mid-March, Fire Rescue has reportedly responded to more than 130 structure fire calls.

With the majority of fatal home fires happening at night when people are asleep, working smoke alarms and CO detectors double a family’s chance of surviving a home fire or an unsafe carbon monoxide level.

Fire Rescue pointed out that the smell of smoke may not wake a sleeping person. The poisonous gases and smoke produced by a fire can in fact numb the senses and put a person into a deeper sleep.

For more information, please contact Hillsborough County Fire Rescue at 272-6600.


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